Tag Archive | Rubicon

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What have you been watching? Including The Edge of Tomorrow, A To Z, black-ish, Homeland, Manhattan Love Story and Arrow

Posted on October 13, 2014 | comments | Bookmark and Share

It's "What have you been watching?", my chance to tell you what movies and TV I’ve been watching recently that I haven't already reviewed and your chance to recommend things to everyone else (and me) in case I've missed them.

The usual "TMINE recommends" page features links to reviews of all the shows I've ever recommended, and there's also the Reviews A-Z, for when you want to check more or less anything I've reviewed ever. And if you want to know when any of these shows are on in your area, there's Locate TV - they’ll even email you a weekly schedule.

I was away last week, as you hopefully noticed, and while I had high ambitions of watching lots of German TV and telling you all about it, I didn’t turn on my TV even once the whole time I was there. It’s almost like I have a life or something.

I also didn’t watch much of the usual shows while I was away - except on plane flights and Germany ain’t that far away - which given how many new shows have been starting up or airing their second or third episodes, has meant a weekend of catch-up TV. But I’m nearly there, bar the latest episode of Homeland.

Of last week's outright new shows on the main US networks, I’ve already reviewed The Flash, and I’ll be reviewing The Affair and Cristela either tomorrow or on Thursday. I might review Starz basketball comedy Survivor's Remorse and the Audience Network's manly-men MMA drama Kingdom, but they're possibly a bit sporty for me, so we'll see. I might also turn my eye to Canada's women-western Strange Empire, and Australian political drama Party Tricks, too, towards the end of the week.

But that's it for new new shows, so after the jump, I’ll be running through: A to Z, Arrow, Bad Judge, black-ish, The Blacklist, The Code, Doctor Who, Forever, Gotham, Gracepoint, Homeland, How To Get Away With Murder, Legends, Madam Secretary, Manhattan Love Story, Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, Plebs, Scorpion and Selfie. Which ones will I keep watching and which ones will I be dropping? Keep reading to find out.

But before that, strangely enough, despite the epic backlog, I did manage to watch a movie this week.

The Edge of Tomorrow (2013)
Cowardly Tom Cruise enters video game Groundhog Day when he kills an alien during a D-Day style military campaign and inherits its ability to put time into a loop. Emily Blunt then trains Cruise in how to be a proper soldier, so he can win the war, thoughtfully killing him each day to reset the time loop. A cross between a first-person shooter and the Allied invasion of Normandy, the film benefits a lot from Doug Liman’s more thoughtful approach to direction and Cruise does well at first as a snivelling PR guy who has to learn to become a more conventional Cruise hero. Ultimately not making a lot of sense, it nevertheless is an engrossing and above-average piece of science-fiction with some scary-arsed aliens and that probably would have done a whole lot better under its original title of All You Need Is Kill.

Continue reading "What have you been watching? Including The Edge of Tomorrow, A To Z, black-ish, Homeland, Manhattan Love Story and Arrow"

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Question of the week: is Community doomed now that Dan Harmon has left?

Posted on May 21, 2012 | comments | Bookmark and Share

Community

Today's news carried the somewhat shocking announcement that Community's creator and showrunner Dan Harmon is being replaced (involuntarily). This, of course, has got a lot of people worried. Is Community going to become more conventional and less interesting as a result? It's also got some people excited: is Community going to become more conventional and more funny as a result?

Which turns us neatly to this week's question:

Does replacing the creator of a show with a new showrunner ever lead to a better show?

There have, of course, been numerous cases where shows have got rid of their creator/showrunners. Rubicon's creator stood down as showrunner during the first episode, because he couldn't work out how to turn the show into a series. Whether that made the show better or not, it's hard to say, but it certainly became different. The new series of Doctor Who also became different once showrunner (and in some senses creator) Russell T Davies was replaced by Steven Moffat – some say it became better while others worse.

So can anyone think of any shows that undeniably became better once their creator departed for different climes, or can we simply assume Community is doomed now?

Answers below or on your own blog, please

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Review: Hell on Wheels (AMC) 1x1

Posted on November 10, 2011 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Hell on Wheels

In the US: Sundays, 10/9c, AMC
In the UK: Acquired by TCM UK to air in 2012

There's been a lot of talk this season about AMC's Mad Men. The Playboy Club and Pan Am have both supposedly been trying to emulate the success of Mad Man by both being set in the 60s and allegedly glorifying sexism, racism, et al. The parallels are relatively few and often spurious but what people have latched onto in this 60s setting. Apparently, until Mad Men, period drama didn't happen on US TV so clearly anything period must owe a debt to Mad Men.

Now overlooking the quasi-period (e.g. Quantum Leap, New Amsterdam, Journeyman, That 70s Show, Life on Mars) as well as actually period (e.g. Glory Daze, Swingtown) is one thing. But to overlook the western? That's downright ridiculous.

The western was once the mainstay of US TV: Bonanza ran for 13 years, Gunsmoke ran for 20 years and there were countless others. Modern day TV networks also haven't forgotten the western: HBO had Deadwood while FX's Justified is essentially a western set in modern times; and even as I type, the development slates at various US networks are already filling up with a whole new batch of westerns, ready to be unleashed on us next September, including a remake of the classic TV western The Rifleman.

But now look. While everyone's been fixated on the 60s as the Mad Men USP, AMC - the home of Mad Men - is trying its hardest to cash in on the success of its own, currently absent show (as well as its first ever original mini-series, Broken Trail) with another period piece that relishes the mores and prejudices of a rapidly changing American society. Can you guess when it's set?

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